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Genes Behind the Scenes

Find out what we're doing and thinking as we develop WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition and the Tower Fall expansion!

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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Siblaime » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:12 am

Yay punnett squares.
Actually I thought we had such genetics in WQ 2.7 already. In my game a black female and a grayish male had three black puppies and a gray one, which is quite realistic as black is a dominant gene and it has bigger chances to be expressed. :lol:
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby roguemoon » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:58 pm

Is there a similar gene to the K-locus for determining brown coats as well?
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Invar » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:14 pm

roguemoon wrote:Is there a similar gene to the K-locus for determining brown coats as well?


Sort of.

Your coat-colour paint-box has two paints only -- Eumelanin, which is dark brown/black, and pheomelanin, which is red. At A-locus, the genetic code says how to distribute these colours in the coat. Normally it says to do 'agouti' (which is why it's called the 'A' locus) where each hair is banded and shaded with both colours. At a hypothetical and as far as I know yet-to-be-located-on-the-DNA I-locus, (I for 'intensity') it determines how much red -- not much red and your wild-type agouti wolf coat will be 'grey,' more red and the wolf looks brown.

In domestic dogs there's a mutation at B-locus that makes the eumelanin a different shade, that's where you get 'chocolate' labrador retrievers. This affects the whole body -- black labs and yellow labs have black noses, but chocolate ones have brown noses. A yellow lab, (ee, which is 'recessive red' and means he doesn't have eumelanin in his coat) could also be bb (chocolate) and he will still be yellow but he'll have a brown ("dudley") nose which is a fault at shows. Same yellow lab could be KK dominant black and being ee would hide it, just to give you more headaches. :)

I don't think wolf populations have the bb "Chocolate/Liver" mutation, but I've seen some photos of a wild coyote that had it. I bet wolves do have ee and whatever it is at mysterious I-locus or whatever, as white 'primitive' type dogs are ee. I don't think wolves have the D-locus mutations that make the even grey colour they call 'blue' in dogs either.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby roguemoon » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:01 am

Invar wrote:Sort of.

Your coat-colour paint-box has two paints only -- Eumelanin, which is dark brown/black, and pheomelanin, which is red. At A-locus, the genetic code says how to distribute these colours in the coat. Normally it says to do 'agouti' (which is why it's called the 'A' locus) where each hair is banded and shaded with both colours. At a hypothetical and as far as I know yet-to-be-located-on-the-DNA I-locus, (I for 'intensity') it determines how much red -- not much red and your wild-type agouti wolf coat will be 'grey,' more red and the wolf looks brown.


:shock: ooh Invar maybe you'll have to teach me a class on wolf/ dog colour genetics. I have very limited knowledge and this was super informative. I agree with what Dave said about genetics being very confusing at times.


I don't think wolf populations have the bb "Chocolate/Liver" mutation, but I've seen some photos of a wild coyote that had it. I bet wolves do have ee and whatever it is at mysterious I-locus or whatever, as white 'primitive' type dogs are ee. I don't think wolves have the D-locus mutations that make the even grey colour they call 'blue' in dogs either.


Aaay really the only thing about wild wolf genes that I did sorta know. The only time wolves can be blue is if they have a significant amount of dog content (or, y'know, if they're having a really sad day 8) )
I would absolutely love to see that chocolate coyote photo if you can find it also.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby DaniBeez » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:35 pm

Sorry for the late response; I've been looking into this more over the past couple days when I have time, but haven't had quite enough time to make a solid response!

Invar wrote:That's really interesting stuff, Beez.

I wonder how heterozygous KK wolves are for other stuff. If dominant-black at K is a mutation that occurred in domestic dogs and was passed to wolves (seems pretty well proven that it is) and this happened only a couple of times (hmmmm...) then a KK wolf probably has a much higher coefficient of inbreeding than another wolf.

We wants a bigger sample size. And an otherwise identical study except on coyotes.

In theory, I think you're probably right about higher COI in those homozygous individuals Invar.

Also, there is literature on melanism in coyotes! I came across it in my research. It's also controlled at the same K locus. Check out Anderson et al. 2009. I'm pretty sure this one is public access, so anyone will be able to look at the full paper.


loboLoco wrote: No, we decided that because that's what our geneticist advisor told us after he read all these papers, which matched some suggestions that Dan MacNulty gave us about the K locus and KK low survival rates. Re-reading all this stuff makes my head hurt so I just depend on what the experts tell me...

Ah, I see. Since you posted this reply, I've been trying to find a statement or some data in the literature on the lethality (vs. just lower fitness) of homozygous KK in any canine, but no luck yet. To be clear though: I'm not trying to discredit your sources, as I'm certain they have more experience with this topic than me. I'm not a geneticist and I don't study it directly. I'm just trying to follow their logic path :). At face value, the "KK=lethal" assumption just seemed like a convenient way to make the K locus work for the game.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby DispersedHowl100 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:06 am

Wow this is so cool! I love you added genetics! :pawprint:
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Invar » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:34 pm

DaniBeez wrote:I'm not a geneticist and I don't study it directly. I'm just trying to follow their logic path :). At face value, the "KK=lethal" assumption just seemed like a convenient way to make the K locus work for the game.


Well, since KB/KB wolves almost never succeed in reproducing, one might say they are effectively dead from a population-genetics perspective, which is probably where the advisors are coming from.

Re: Coyotes. We do know that all black coyotes tested have been KB, but do KB/KB ones reproduce successfully?

Now I really want to see photos of the tested wolves and coyotes, to see if KB/Ky ones are less black than KB/KB ones. When you look at a black dog, say a black lab, it's all an even black. Black wolves and coyotes have ticked and banded hairs, not an even black.

Check out this guy: http://www.doggenetics.co.uk/photos/ghosttan1.jpg

He has 'ghost' tan-point markings. He's KB.

This guy: https://www.wilsongbordercollies.com/si ... 12x190.jpg

is 'seal' (ignore his white markings, those are another matter entirely) which is pretty much sable or agouti 'bleeding through' KB black.

We don't know why 'ghost markings' happen. There's a theory that they /always/ happen in wolves and coyotes because of a structural difference in the hair affecting the banding/ticking pigment distribution being present in wolves and coyotes and absent in most dogs. It's supposedly why black wolves turn much much lighter in colour as they age, too.

Here's an excuse to look at lots and lots of pictures of wolves. Look at ones who look more brown than grey, and you'll see that agouti pattern tends to place more black/more red colour in spots consistent with black-and-tan on dogs. Less black on the underside, inside legs, chest, pips over the eyes. Also notice that all non-black wolves display a pattern where the red is faded to cream on the underside, inside legs, chest, and eyebrows:

https://www.shibas.org/images/judgeseds ... dintro.png

This is called 'countershading' in English but dog-people are starting to call it urajiro, the Japanese term, because Shiba Inu are cute. People used to think that it was some sort of variation on black-and-tan, but this is obviously not so, as a dog can have both. Some of those browner wolves with noticeably redder spots where tanpoints go have two sets of eyebrow pips, a brown set and a cream set.

Those eyebrow pips, as you've probably noticed when talking to a dog, enhance the dog's facial expressions. Tan and/or urajiro pattern on the muzzle does, too, by making the fur around the (typically) black lips light coloured, so the curve and expression of the lips is easy to see.

If KB/Ky wolves typically display more 'ghosted' agouti-and-urajiro than KB/KB wolves, it's possible that they're unsuccessful because other wolves can't see their facial expressions and so don't pair with them. That would explain why KB/KB is not associated with reproductive troubles in dogs, where a number of breeds are always KB/KB.

Fun stuff.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby YellowstoneWolves1 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:39 pm

I think this is really cool. I may be the only one but it'll be nice to have, say, two white furred parents and not have one random brown puppy in the mix, but it may still have since, as you said, brown is considered kk. And I don't blame you for needed genetics explained three times to understand, it's pretty confusing. I get a little mixed up from time to time too don't worry.
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